Why It’s Important to Warm Up and Cool Down for Exercise

Happy Wednesday Squadies! We are almost two weeks into 2021 and for most of us that means we are well into our new year fitness routines. As we continue to CRUSH our workouts, we need to remember an often overlooked but equally important aspect of our training, which is the warm up and cool down! Today, I’ll be explaining why it is SO important to warm up (lean up) and cool down for exercise!

Making sure you are exercising, eating properly, and sleeping well are essential for your body’s recovery. If you want to take it a step further and REALLY optimize your recovery, ensure you warm up and cool down around every workout!

Before we get into it, if you want to see meaningful improvements to your physical and mental health then sign up for my 30 Day Challenge and start your leanness journey today!

WHY YOU NEED TO WARM UP

So many people jump straight into their workouts without getting in a proper lean up beforehand. Warming up prepares your body for what is to come in the workout. Think of it as a car starting in the winter. You let your car run for a few minutes before driving so that all the parts can get ready to function properly when you need them to. It’s the same with your body! 

One of, if not the MOST important reason to give your body a good warm up is to prevent getting injured. This is especially important if it is first thing in the morning and your body has just woken up or if you have been sitting at your desk all day! A good lean up loosens your joints and increases the blood flow to your muscles so they are primed for the challenging workout to come!

Getting in a good warm up beforehand allows your blood to release oxygen more readily. This is SUPER beneficial because when we are sweating and pushing our limits during the workout, your muscles will be able to take in more oxygen. This makes your body more efficient and actually improves your performance!

Another benefit to warming up is that it gets you prepared mentally. Spending a few minutes beforehand focusing on your body and how it moves can really help you when it comes to the main workout. This is because you start to become mindful of how each muscle responds and you feel those muscles working during specific exercises. This is a fantastic way of knowing whether or not you are doing the exercises correctly because you will feel it!

Now you know the WHY behind our lean ups, but you may be wondering HOW to warm up properly! Luckily, there are TONS of different ways to warm up!

HOW TO WARM UP

Warm ups can really be whatever works for you and your body, as long as you are taking it lightly and gradually! Generally, they are dynamic and consist of cardiovascular exercises such as jogging or jumping jacks. 

They also tend to differ depending on what muscles you will be focusing on in that workout. For example, if it is a Lean Leggies & Glutes day, your lean up will primarily target your legs and glutes. However, if it is a Full Body Leanness day your lean up will focus on your entire body!

Squadies, the warm up does not need to be more than 5 minutes, but it is SO important that you get it done! 


WHY YOU NEED TO COOL DOWN

You’ve absolutely SMASHED your lean workout and you’re out of breath, sweating like crazy, and your heart is pumping! The work is not done, not just yet!! It is time for you to give your body what it needs, which is a nice cool down. Cooling down gradually brings your body back to a normal state and eases it down from your LEANSANE workout!

This is the time when your body begins recovering and it is crucial that you allow it to do just that! All that lactic acid that you built up, now needs to be released from your body. Cooling down expedites the recovery process by releasing this lactic acid and speeding up your recovery.

You know getting out of bed tomorrow is going to be tough because you’ve just pushed your muscles to the limit! DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is no joke and any workout is going to result in being sore, but we can do our part to reduce the extent of it! Making sure you cool down can reduce DOMS and may be the difference between feeling ready to crush another workout tomorrow and feeling too sore!

A cool down provides the same benefits as taking a day off to recover. This is exactly why I include 2 leancovery days per week in my programs! Squadies feel refreshed, re-energized, and re-focused for the next few days of workouts.

HOW TO COOL DOWN

To cool down, you need to gradually slow your body down to a resting state. This can include slower cardiovascular exercises as well as static stretching. Cool downs are usually longer than warm ups and can be extended to any length of your choosing!

Try out this 5 min post-workout stretch & recovery for an example!

There you have it squadies, the importance of the warm up and cool down! If you want to see meaningful changes to your mental and physical health, sign up for my 30 Day Challenge!